Ransomware and the importance of Backups

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Ransomware and the importance of Backups

What is Ransomware?

Malicious software that uses encryption to hold data for ransom has become wildly successful over the last few years. The purpose of this software is to extort money from the victims with promises of restoring encrypted data. Like other computer viruses, it usually finds its way onto a device by exploiting a security hole in vulnerable software or by tricking somebody into installing it. Ransomware, as it is known, scores high profile victims like hospitals, public schools and police departments. Now it has found its way into home computers.

Measures to Prevent an Attack

  1. Ensure you keep up to date with your Operating Systems security patches because they are constantly updated to fix vulnerabilities being exploited by attackers.
  2. Limit Administrative privileges on your business network, if you start providing additional access to staff and management it may open the door for an attack to access your entire network. Providing limited privileges ensures if you experience a ransomware attack it will be limited to the machine on which the attack took place and wont affect your entire network.
  3. Use network storage and try not to store files locally on your machines. In the event of attack your network storage will almost definitely be part of your daily backup procedure which will results in no loss of data.
  4. The most common form of ransomware attacks come via email transactions. Always we stringent when opening emails and if your unsure where the emails has originated from don’t open it, instead speak to your IT manager/Administrator and in most cases they can block any further emails coming from the source using the message header of the email.
  5. Disable remote access if not required or limit to the users who access the service. Always use remote access over VPN which gives an added layer of protection against any attacks.

Backing up your data

Let’s face it, you may have a great computer or external hard drive, but one day they’re going to wear out and you may lose your data. Using network storage or a SAN as your Business storage ensures your data is always central and a part of your central backup procedure. Both NAS (Network Access Storage and SAN (Storage Area Networks) offer the ability to backup onsite and offsite with the added ability to produce snapshots of your data on an interval basis e.g. Every 5, 10, 15, 30 mins, Hourly etc. Below you will find a Webinar provided by Synology who are a network storage provider showing the importance of snapshots and replication to ensure your network is always protected. Enjoy!.

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